Connected Home Goes Green
If you think your world is connected now, just wait. Forthcoming products and services will take connectivity further than ever, embedding it into your lights, your TV, and many other devices around the home.
People like to toss out the term “Internet of Things,” but it seems the idea is actually becoming closer to reality. So what “things” will be connected? Recently, several companies have laid out ideas of what those devices will be at trade shows across the globe.
At IBC 2012 in Amsterdam, September 6-11, Marvell, www.marvell.com, announced a new suite of SoC (system on chip) designs with the connected world in mind. Marvell provides the chips that power a number of connected devices, and the most recent offerings aim to make our everyday life even more interconnected. For instance, one SoC, the Marvell ARMADA 1500 HD Media, is designed to enable PC-like processing power for support of Web browsing, including Flash. Marvell says the SoC will be featured in demonstrations including Google TV set-top boxes, as well as other IP-connected set-top boxes to showcase a smart TV experience.
Marvell will also demonstrate smart lighting solutions, such as the company’s Smart Energy and Smart LED Lighting Platform. The platform is meant to help OEMs (original-equipment manufacturers) develop smart appliances and smart LED lighting solutions. Users can integrate Wi-Fi connectivity into their products, allowing the devices to communicate with smartphones, tablets, and other Internet and cloud products. The platform also features ZigBee networking, designed to enable a wirelessly networked lighting control solution. Products based on the platform include smart light bulbs and a connected Wi-Fi thermostat.
At a different trade show, CEDIA EXPO 2012, September 5-8, Crestron, www.crestron.com, showcased new home control solutions that make the home seem like a futuristic retreat.
The company’s airConnect technology uses NFC (near-field communication) to automatically adjust room settings for whoever enters the space. People living in the home can trigger personalized settings for each room simply by entering, adjusting things like temperature, lighting, and window shades.
With a compatible NFC device (such as a smartphone) a person could automate the system so the room automatically sets to a certain temperature when he or she enters. Add your favorite music and your preferred lighting arrangement, and the room seems to know exactly how you want to relax.
With new connected solutions for the home, and more intelligence embedded into everyday objects, the house of the future may not be so far away.